Algoma Sailing Club
St. Mary's River,  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

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Press Release:

Six sailors were recognized and received sailing awards at the recent 2017 Algoma Sailing Club's Christmas Banquet and Awards Night. The awards presented were for winners of the club's sailing races, spirit, and special service to the club.

This years trophy precipitants are as follows; (from left to right.)

Peter Hatton: Club Service Award.
Jack Rice: Spring Series River Race Trophy and Overall River Race Trophy.
April Kernagham (ASC Commodore): Spirit Award.
Philip Routh: Summer Series River Race Trophy and Club Service Award.
Gerry Neave: Fall Series River Race Trophy and Richards Landing Race.
Norm Rippon (ASC Vice-Commodore): Spirit Award.
Neil Trudel, ASC Fleet Captain.

The Algoma Sailing club promotes its activities in 3 key areas; organizing and sponsoring in July the North Channel Race Week (5 days) starting at Richards Landing and ending at Hilton Beach with overnight stops in between, the Can-Sail Boom Sailing School in August for adults and children, and the Local River Races. (For more information or to register do visit the clubs website at

The Algoma Sailing Club schedules 25 sailing races each year, with 21 local races in the St Mary's River starting and ending at topsail island, consisting of the Spring and Summer series on Wednesday nights, and the Fall series on Saturdays. Four long distance races are also scheduled with 2 races on Lake Nicollet (south of the sugar island ferry), and 2 races all the way down to Richards Landing (overnight).

"Locally the racing fleet is quite interesting to watch from the Sault's shoreline as some of the public have discovered and they enjoy watching on race night as the sailboats tack up and down the river depending on the wind's direction. Sailboats need to tack and turn the front of the sailboat left or right as they cannot sail directly into the wind and thus the sails also must be pulled over and winched to the other side of the boat. The crews of each sailboat work fast as they can to re-adjust the sails to order to regain the speed lost during each tack. Some of the good locations to watch are on topsail island, pine street marina, or on the waterfront boardwalk at the former General Hospital site.

The speed of the races can vary. Sometimes when going upriver they can be a tad slower against the river current and the normal westerly winds. If a south or east wind rears then the race tactics must also change but with fewer tacks. Going downstream when the wind is at your back (on a run), the sailing can be slower and thus you have to extend all your sails out as far as you can to catch all the wind.

With sailing its all about the angles sailed to catch and direct the winds onto the sails to push the boats. Sails basically act like an aircraft's wing, but without a propeller. The front jib sail (on a reach) can also help direct more air onto the mainsail to increase speed but there is a fine balance between the two. Even here on the river the winds change constantly in directions and strength due to the terrain, shoreline and buildings". Says Neil Trudel the ASC Fleet Captain, who co-ordinates the races throughout the season. "Overall it's a great way to have some fun, relax, or to improve your sailing skills by being competitive by learning how to sail faster (or race) against others. Overall just being out on the water away from the summer's heat is really great.

Some of the races become a tad more exciting when the large freighters are passing through, as you have to plan ahead as to which side of the freighter and river to remain on, until the freighter passes you by. Only then will you discover your position in relation to the other sailboats to see if you have lost or gained any ground.

The club has a great spirit. It really pulls all the members together and showcases their willingness to help each other and new members. Even the social committee helps out by cooking up a storm with their famous pre-race meals to fuel everyone up prior to the races. If you are interested in how to sail, then do contact us. Come on out, as we always need crews. The club has open moorings for a few more boats to join."

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Last Update: Updated May 03, 2016
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